March 8, 2011
Fuck pancakes. Why we still need feminism.
Today is International Women's Day.
I like a nice pancake but I can make them any day I like.
Like Shrove Tuesday (which is irrelevant to me as I am lucky enough to be able to buy the ingredients needed for pancakes whenever I like) I would also think that International Woman's Day was irrelevant if feminism wasn't still so necessary.
I do think having a single day to think about the plight of women the world over and the deferent, condescending semi-celebratory articles in the newspapers and on television about women of distinction are fairly patronising: there, there you've had your one day now let's get back to the real world.....
However, gender gaps still exist, inequalities are apparent everywhere we look, women are still objectified in every newspaper, magazine and advertising hoarding, and girls (and boys) are sexualised at far too early an age.
We (of both sexes and every gender) are still under pressure to feel we have to look, act and behave in stereotypical ways, and so I concede that having a day to reflect on this can be useful in terms of activism and mobilising others around us. Men and women. It is not just down to women to draw attention to difference and inequality, it is a responsibility we all have - to recognise where and when we are subject to and exposed to discrimination, objectification and oppression.
Last year I wrote this:
Some people think that the cause of feminism is dead. This is not true. There is still cause to campaign for further change.
Women still do hold equal representation in the constitutional processes that govern the way the world works. Until we do, women's issues will never be truly represented - they will still be denied access to positions of power, healthcare, support for childcare, and denied the right to fulfil their true potential.
So today I urge you to think less about pancakes (and British Pie Week), and more about how women and men are stereotyped into roles, how opportunities are still not equal, how women are still excluded from progression in the workplace because they might choose to have children, how our working lives continue to be structured to conspire against real flexible working - which should be an option for all of us, not just women with children of school age - and how commerce reinforces all of that. Try and find something that isn't 'pink for a girl' or 'blue for a boy' to give as a gift to new parents and their child for example.
Then think about what equality really means. Think about a world where an International Women's Day would not be needed or indeed wanted.
Think about how politically mobilised people have become recently. About how they are are voicing how displeased they are with how unrepresentative the present coalition (and previous governments) is to the majority of the population they purport to represent. Think about how aware we are becoming as to how the current climate of cuts is going to affect us - women will be disproportionately affected, lower waged people will be disproportionately affected. Think about how we are 'governed' by a load of upper middle class public school educated white Christian reactionary men.
Think about how recently women got the vote, how recently sex discrimination legislation was introduced, about how far we still need to go to make sure that we inhabit a world where we truly have access to the same opportunities.
And then resolve to do one thing to demonstrate you are committed to change. It doesn't have to be a big thing. And call yourself a feminist, and be proud to do so. Until things have changed. That's how change happens. That's how we got the vote, that's how equal pay laws came into force, that's how the poll tax was got rid of, by people standing up and being counted.
This is a photo of my great gran campaigning for pay for holidays (she's in the centre on a deckchair in specs and waving) in about 1938 (I dated the film poster in the background. Jack Oakie in 'Super-Sleuth', via IMDB). We now have 5.6 weeks of paid statutory holiday entitlement per year, per full time worker in the UK. This picture constantly inspires me.
I am a feminist, I wear lipstick and an underwired bra, I love men, I am strong, I am funny, I knit, cook and sew really well, I am fiercely independent, I work hard, I play hard, I can hold my own with the best of them, I live alone (well, with a cat), and I am totally happy with that (in fact I wouldn't have things any other way). And and I have no problem with any of it. And nor should anyone else.
December 28, 2010
The cost of labour: Tuscan Leaves beret
I decided to time how long it took me to knit this hat. Then cost out exactly what it should sell for, should I ever decide to turn my hobby into a cash earner. Mostly this is for the benefit of my friends and family who tell me that I 'could make a living' from my knitting.
My knitterly friends, I apologise, you have probably already carried out this exercise yourself.
My non-knitterly friends, please take note of the following:
Think about how much hats like these are selling for in your favourite high street retailer or designer provider.
Here are some examples sourced today from the following websites:
- Primark - individual items not on th company website - probably due to extremely high turnover of stock, but reckon on about £3.99? 100% acrylic undoubtedly
- Top Shop - £12-£20 depending on fibre and complexity, acrylic to acrylic/wool blend
- Dorothy Perkins - £8-£10, 100% acrylic
- Next - £10, 100% acrylic
- Marks & Spencer - £10-£15 depending on fibre and complexity, acrylic to acrylic/wool blend
- Toast - £25-£45 depending on fibre and complexity, 100% lambswool, to a merino/mohair blend with a small amount of elastane
- Boden - £19 for a 70% lamsbwool/20% angora/10% acrylic mix
- Urban Outfitters - £20-£35 depending on fibre - 100% acrylic to 100% lambswool
None of these companies tells you anything about how the fibre and yarn is sourced or produced, or indeed much about the labour used to make these snuggly winter goods, supposed to keep you warm in the sub-zero temperatures of the current UK winter.
By the way, acrylic in this form doesn't really keep you warm.
Now, I am not going to get into arguments about cheap outsourced labour, or about the merits or otherwise of farming, producing and wearing animal fibres. Nor indeed about profit motives. Others have done, and do that far, far better then I could ever hope to do.
Nevertheless a comparison is a useful exercise, I think.
May I present the fruits of my own labour:
One handknitted hat, made from hand-kettledyed extrafine merino and silk blend, handspun by women and bought from a non-profit organisation which benefits co-operatives of Uruguayan women to provide them with economic and social opportunities. 100g is enough to make two hats, and costs around £13 (this particular skein was a secret Santa gift).
It took me about 6 hours of knitting to complete this one hat, on 3m and 4.5mm needles.
The pattern was not my own. I paid $4.50 for it. Which means I cannot sell hats I make from this pattern, as it is copyrighted, and any sales would be an infringement of the contract I entered into on purchasing the pattern.
Any designer will tell you that it takes a long time (50+ hours is not unrealistic) and a lot of effort to produce a mistake free pattern, suitable for retail.
Before you ask, there are loads of free patterns out there, but sales of items knitted from such patterns would be an infringement of the agreement you enter into when you download them. See the copyright guidelines at knitty.com for a good example.
My OER friends - there are few openly licensed patterns available at this time.
Anyway, back to the costing exercise.
If we cost my time at the minimum wage (which we all know is anything BUT a minimum wage, as benefits are required to top it up to enable people to live even the most frugal of existences) of £5.93 (yes I am over 21) per hour we get the following:
(not including heat, light, needles etc)
£6.50 for yarn
£2.98 for pattern
£5.93 x 6 hours for my time = £35.58
Giving a total bare cost minimum of: £45.06
Once you add in costs of light, heat, needles, computer depreciation (since there is my online presence, sourcing of patterns, potential sales platform, since if I am knitting I can't really be running a physical shop) etc.
I could realistically price this hat at £50.
And that inclues no recognition of the skill used. I am an expert knitter meaning I have spent between 5000 and 10,000 hours learning and perfecting my skill. How is that costed or recognised?
Plus - that price does not including any brand premium, marketing, profit margin etc etc etc.
£50 is a fairly realistic price. Not a greedy price. The price of labour and materials. A realistic exchange for something knitted with love, skill and for something which is fairly unique. Bear in mind that if this was my main way of earning a living, some weeks I might only sell one small item.
Would you pay it?
Now think carefully next time you go shopping. And bear in mind that handknits are all the rage right now, rather than machine knits. What did that hat REALLY cost to make? And are you prepared to meet those costs? Are you in any way recognising the skill and workmanship that went into your hat? And will you look after it? Cherish it? Wash and dry it carefully to get the longest lifetime out of it you can?
October 11, 2010
It is British Wool Week 11-17 October 2010
See the Campaign for Wool website.
There is a special week long retailer promotion which as been publicised by the British Wool Marketing Board.
Rowan has released a series of free patterns to celebrate wool week, using its British Breeds yarns, entitled British Sheep Breeds Homeware, all using 100% British Wool. The collection comprises of 10 designs of cushions, throws, mats and hot water bottle covers. See pages 1-4 here.
The FT did an article here.
BBC Countryfile had the first in a series of reports on taking wool from Adam's Farm and turning it into a Saville Row suit last night. You have seven days to view on iPlayer (UK only). It is worth watching as the whole show centred on local places in the Durham Dales, which is beautiful, historic, wild and on my doorstep :)
Locally: there is a Wool Week at Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead, which has a number of activities including felting during the week, to promote British wool and raise awareness with schools. The gallery will be partnering up with a local community farm at Bill Quay which has Hebridean and Jacob sheep and may possibly be bringing some sheep to the gallery.
During wool week the gallery will be hosting an afternoon event to encourage visitors to knit with British wool and increase their awareness and familiarity of it and its possibilities.
Check out your local suppliers and galleries for further events and promotions - and this week, it you are thinking about buying yarn, buy wool, and buy British!
The best place round me for buying British yarn (a lot of it from rare breeds) is The Knit Studio, in Newcastle upon Tyne. British sheep breeds stocked include Shetland, Blue-Faced Leicester, Manx, Black Welsh, Grey Suffolk, Jacob and Hebridean, and UK brand knitting yarns including Rowan, Colinette, J.C. Rennie, Natural Dye Studio, Ba T'at Yarns from Ilkley, Flying Flock from Shetland and Nude Ewe.
March 15, 2010
If only switching your heating on was REALLY like this
March 8, 2010
Spring, more BAMS7, kitty and a national treasure
Bulbs are starting to spring. This is the rest of my BAMS7 parcel - Dutch smellies. Nice!
Greebo looking happy with yarn, and Patrick Moore on the telly. Why? trying out taking pictures of the telly with my camera..... And he is a national treasure.
March 7, 2010
Yarnbombing happened today in Newcastle
I have too much on at the moment to have taken part in today's knitting shenanigans, but I am pleased that many local knitters took part :). Well done!
September 17, 2009
Presentation from the Tyneside Cinema on Tuesday 15 September
September 15, 2009
I am talking at the Tyneside Cinema tonight
The Tyneside Cinema knitting group, In Newcastle upon Tyne, has a large membership and over 50 knitters meet there monthly, in the third floor bar, to knit, chat, eat and drink. The light is good and you can even buy yarn there.
I am usurping my usual cosy weekly group at the Bridge Hotel to give a talk at the Tyneside in the 3rd floor bar tonight. The group meets at 7 and I will be talking about the knitablog, and the forthcoming Shipley Late event, in Gateshead, where Twitter Knitters will materialise into something before 10pm on 25th September.
Come along and find out more. You could even knit something in 140 stitches or less and bring it along......
July 7, 2009
Exploring colour at St Julien l'Ars
Everyone was so inspired by the surroundings, the company and the teachers, it was no wonder that they all came out with such marvellous explorations of colour. I didn't get pics of everyone's projects, and Sue was a much more careful photographer than I, with her permission here are some pics of the marvellous projects people came up with:
July 6, 2009
Watch out online for knitters on the 4th plinth!
Plinthknitter (Rav name) is taking part in One and Other, Antony Gormley's latest project to fill up the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square with real people for an hour each, for 100 days, 24/7.
You can watch online at the One and Other website.
Plinthknitter (a.k.a. Anne Makepeace) will be there on Sunday, July 26th from 5.00 to 6.00pm. She needs some help with her knitting before she goes up there.
You can help by sending her knitted or crocheted flowers. See attached file.
Edited to add: Mayor Boris Johnson lives up to his reputation: "We may have lost the People's Princess but we have the People's Plinth......... someday my Plinth will come......"
He should be in entertainment rather than politics surely!
July 1, 2009
Thank you so much: Books and More swap swag brag
I wanted to brag a few days ago about this parcel from Ravelry's gladcat:
It's a great parcel with three beautifully coloured balls of Rowan Wool Cotton and two bags of green adn red sequins to start knitting the Magic Carpet blacnket from Debbie Abrahams' Blankets and Throws to Knit. Plus some lovely green stripy handknitted mittens and a blue cosy. The chocolate eclairs have almost gone..... Some lovely stitch markers and a postcard from Norfolk make up the complete swag package.
I love everything and will definitely collect the yarns and notions to knit this amazing blankie!
Thank you again!
June 16, 2009
Coat for a boat at South Shields on the BBC
Shame I can't embed this one, but watch it at the BBC website.
Yarnstorming on the BBC
May 27, 2009
Reblogging knitted meercats in Star Trek uniforms, on Etsy
Available from: www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=24987548
Found via: boingboing.net
May 19, 2009
Knitted Lives at Alnwick Gardens
This would be so much better if I could embed the player, but go the BBC website to watch this report.
May 12, 2009
Knitting a love song - short film
Sheffield based director Annie Watson, tells the story of a girl's childhood passion.
Knit a chair day
Reblogged from SnBLondon's Twitter feed:
Love the accompanying song! It's Arthur Askey Knitting. More information on the project blog.
May 10, 2009
RIP Marilyn French - a bit late
I meant to blog the death of novelist, feminist, academic, Marilyn French, author of highly influential novel The Women's Room, as soon as I heard of her death on 2 May... but life took over.
This quote from her is one of my favourites:
A feminist is simply any woman who thinks women matter as much as men do.
As such it is a simple call to arms for any and every woman. We still have a long way to go. I still have times where I think we will never get there, unless the prevailing masculine structure of society gets feminised. Somehow. Sometime. Oh and I like men. A lot. Just saying.
April 25, 2009
And you think YOU have long term projects?
How does 23 YEARS to knit a village grab you?
Sent by Ravelry member vlad to me.
April 23, 2009
Making Futures: the crafts in the context of emerging global sustainability agendas
Making Futures: the crafts in the context of emerging global sustainability agendas will be held on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th September 2009 within the magnificently sited Mount Edgcumbe estate on the River Tamar opposite the city of Plymouth, Devon, UK.
I SO want to go to this event.
March 8, 2009
International women's day
Today is International Women's Day. Each year this day is celebrated on March 8. Hundreds of events occur not just on this day but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.
Some people think that the cause of feminism is dead. This is not true. There is still cause to campaign for further change.
Women still do hold equal representation in the constitutional processes that govern the way the world works. Until we do, women's issues will never be truly represented - they will still be denied access to positions of power, healthcare, support for childcare, and denied the right to fulfil their true potential.
The Charter of the United Nations, signed in San Francisco in 1945, was the first international agreement to proclaim gender equality as a fundamental human right. The UN theme for this years IWD is ending violence against women.
- Women make up 51 percent of the world’s population, but hold only 16 percent of parliamentary and congressional seats worldwide.
- Women do two-thirds of the world’s work but receive only 10% of the world’s income.
- 70% of the world’s poor are women.
- In some countries, women are still criminalised for being raped.
- Only 21% of all news subjects (people interviewed or whom the news is about) are female.
- Globally women comprise 42% internet users.
- Women use 20,000 words a day while men only use 7,000.
Write something today on your blog/Twitter/Facebook/MySpace/[Insert preferred web 2.0 tool here] about women, celebrate our achievements, point out the work which still needs to be undertaken, party, campaign. Do something positive and mark today as a day to take something forward.
Happy International Women's Day.
February 23, 2009
Mr Lainch/snorkel made me a lovely yarn bowl, which he presented to me on my recent visit to see Lainch/Loobles. Glazed in a deep red colour, and with algae like greeny drippy bits. I feel so honoured! If you want him to make you one, check our his blog or Ravelry profile. Yes, he knits too.
Nevermore will my ball of yarn (which is not centre pull) bounce around gathering cat hair and carpet fluff and disappearing under the sofa mating with dust bunnies. Oh no!
January 13, 2009
2009 - International Year of Natural Fibres
The International Year of Natural Fibres is officially launched on 22 January 2009 at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). Over teh past 40 years, the use of synthetic fibres has increased, meaning natural fibres have lost market share. The FAO hopes the title will raise consumer awareness and stimulate demand for natural fibres.
November 10, 2008
Naughty Knitting and Kinky Crochet, Brighton, 8 November
October 17, 2008
I bought an organic cotton woven bath mat from Marks & Spencer, mainly because the colour sang to me. I love it. And BONUS! It is knitted one one side ......
GORGEOUS greyish duck egg blue....
Oooooooooh. I love it. And it is SO absorbent and warm underfoot. And knitted!
October 15, 2008
How will decentralised communications networks shift the way we understand poverty and our power to resist its causes?
Join the debate online on October 16th
New York: 10am / London: 3pm / Mumbai: 7.30pm
Details over at www.resistnetwork.com/amnesty.
Global media conglomerates no longer monopolise the ability to transmit messages both locally and internationally. The use of the internet, mobile phones, satellite radio and the declining cost of media technologies have transformed the way individuals and communities voice their concerns. Many have argued that these decentralised communications networks have lead to an increasingly democratic and accessible media culture. Yet there has been little discussion around how these networks might impact our understanding of poverty as well as serve as a means to resist its causes.
This event will ask how we can harness the power of these networks in order to more effectively depict and understand the complex web of reasons behind the existence of poverty. And can these networks in the long run open up a space for people who live in poverty to participate in the culture of political life?
Find out more about the Resist network at the website. We can all do something to make our voices heard. We can all express how strongly we feel about poverty. We can all so something to make a difference. Take part in this intriguing discussion as a starting point. And to find out more about what others are doing, go to the Blog Action Day website for tons of ideas.
September 12, 2008
Knitting featured on Radio 4's Today programme
The Today programme on Radio 4 featured knitting this morning - and has even had a designer come up with a jumper pattern for the programme....
Knitting is no longer a pastime for old ladies and is increasingly popular, according to the UK Hand Knitting Association which has had a 50% increase in the last three years. Andrew Salmon of Creative Exhibitions and knitwear designer Lotte Lystup discuss why people started picking up their needles.
The feature I heard at about twenty to nine was a sensible one, which did not mention grannies once, and which did not take the mickey out its interviewees. There is a written article on the website and the Radio 4 listen again option where you can hear the feature for the next seven days.
August 27, 2008
Blog action day
You might have noticed the Blog Action Day Banner on gkk of late both up there under the navigation ^^ and over there in the sidebar >>
Do have a look at the Blog Action Day (BAD) website, and consider getting involved this year. The theme is Poverty and as BAD falls in the UK's National Knitting Week, British bloggers might try to combine poverty and knitting in their post on 15 October. There are resources so that you too can have the banners on your site, and you need to register your blog.
August 25, 2008
Five news on knitting
Watch it here...
August 22, 2008
Feminism for the 21st century: a call to arms
There is a thought provoking argument for teaching feminism in schools in today's Times Online, which suggests that feminism needs reinvigorating for 21st century girls and women. This new feminism, the writer advocates, requires a new language to resonate with young (and not so young) women who have turned their backs on a political stance wrapped, as they see it, in the seventies stereotype of a dungaree clad short-haired, loud mouthed radical.
I, myself, have long struggled with what I call the pornographisation of western culture, which jars against my own views on the liberalisation of censorship. Whilst on the one hand I can applaud the business acumen and financial success of some of our 21st century popular female icons, their chosen methods of self representation via a set of narrowly defined male-orientated sexual ideals, portray a dichotomy for women which is difficult to negotiate.
'Success' based on financial gain for looking like a twig with plastic boobs and lips who can give an amazing blow job, hardly sets our society up for women who are strong self-determined confident characters who can make their way through life based on social, political, economic, and academic skills which will enable them to achieve happiness throughout their lives.
As Dr Jessica Ringrose says, feminism is about human rights, it is about equality and it is as relevant today as it was when Germaine Greer caused a stir with The Female Eunoch, or when Shere Hite published The Hite Report on Female Sexuality.
Young women need to know that there's nothing wrong with liking clothes, shoes and boys (or other girls), but they're also in urgent need of a language and ethics that allow them to be themselves.
We need to reclaim feminism for the 21st century and find new and relevant ways of bringing what feminism has to offer women today to the fore. Being a feminist should not be a bad thing, but should be a desirable movement to engage in, which engenders values and attributes for women to aspire to which are not singularly based on their sexual attractiveness and success in the bedroom, but which equip women with tools to see them through their changing phases of life whereby the natural process of aging beyond 20 is not seen as a crime, or a path to anonymity and failure.
I am a feminist, I am proud to associate myself with a set of political ideals which I see as empowering, and I do not think feminism has had its day. It is more relevant now than ever. Be feminist, be feminine, be an individual, revel in self-determination and buy as many pairs of Jimmy Choos as you like.
August 20, 2008
There is a group of knitters over at Ravelry, called the Ankh Morpork Knitters Guild, of which I am a lurking member. The group decided, on hearing that its favorite author, Terry Pratchett, was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers that they should all do something to show support. I was not involved in this fantastic project, but one of the instigators was able to hand over the finished blanket to the Pratchman himself at the Edinburgh Book Festival recently. There is a Flickr pool, and several blog entries about it.
August 19, 2008
Whip Up - submissions being accepted
And the September theme is knitting!
September: knitting (experiments with freestyle knitting, knitting clubs, knitting in public, knitting ideas, patterns and stories
Submissions must be new — not previously published in another mag or site or on your own website or blog. Once posted on Whip Up - of course you are welcome to link to the article with an image. And after a month you are free to do as you wish with the tutorial or article, which includes submitting it elsewhere or self publishing.
Read the guidelines here on how to submit.
More from whipup.net
July 30, 2008
Missed the Rebel Knitting supplement in Saturday's Guardian?
All the Mazzmatazz patterns and other articles are available online.
July 21, 2008
UKnitters - buy The Guardian on Saturday
The Guardian has a knitting supplement on Saturday 26 July. Make sure you buy yours to get free patterns by Mazzmatazz. Picked up via the iKnit London weekly newsletter. You might remember Mazzmatazz's problems with her knitted Dr Who patterns (which were distributed free under Creative Commons not for profit licenses, but have since been removed from her website) and the BBC earlier in the year.
June 25, 2008
Knitting conference at Southampton University: In the loop
From the website:
A three-day international interdisciplinary conference
In response to the resurgence of public interest knitting has enjoyed in recent years, this interdisciplinary conference proposes an exploration of knitting from a broad range of theoretical and practical perspectives. Proposed abstracts that cross geographical or chronological boundaries in the following areas are of particular interest:
* Knitting narratives including film, literature and the internet
* Knitting, fashion & the industry
* Knitting culture including subversion, gender, tradition and stereotype
* Knitting, technology and the future
Specific collections focused on knitting history, practice and technique collected by Montse Stanley, Richard Rutt and Jane Waller form the basis of this significant resource of reference material that includes objects, patterns, postcards and photographs, fiction and non-fiction, magazines and journals.
Presentations by 28 confirmed speakers from Australia, Britain, Europe and the United States will cover a multidisciplinary range of perspectives, including collections, historical approaches, fashion and technology, new-wave knitting and knitting narratives.
In the loop is a collaborative event involving three distinct divisions of the University of Southampton: Winchester School of Art, the Textile Conservation Centre and the University of Southampton Library.
The programme looks packed and really interesting. If only I lived nearer, I would have taken time off work to go to this ..... Imagine three whole days of knitting intellectualism and academe .......
May 9, 2008
Reminder: Worldwide Knit In Public Day is 14 June 2008
Do something. Be a knittivist. Tell us what you are planning .....
April 14, 2008
Bloke knitting in Staples ad
March 10, 2008
Record attempt for knitting with world's largest knitting needles
The Sunderland Echo reports on a forthcoming world record attempt at knitting with the world's largest knitting needles (11 feet long), to be attempted by Ingrid Wagner, here in the North East of England next month (April).
January 2, 2008
History of guerilla knitting talk available to download
Much of the work highlighted in Regine's summary of the talk has already been blogged on this site, but last year's Burning Man had a nice community public art piece I had not heard of.
A Tree Undone, the artist brought a tree to Burning Man, wrote a pattern explaining how leaves should be knitted, and together with the citizens of Black Rock City knitted thousands of leaves. They were not bound off so each leaf could unravel in the wind.
December 24, 2007
Latvian knitting stamps
December 14, 2007
KnitML is an attempt to create a standard markup language for knitting patterns.
The KnitML Project's main goal is to develop and promote adoption of a standard content model for knitting patterns. By developing a community-supported specification (KnitML) and providing basic rendering and transformation tools, the KnitML Project aims to make KnitML easy to use and valuable to the knitter.
There are many benefits to a standard content model. If KnitML were an adopted standard, there would be many available patterns in KnitML and many types of knitting software written to manipulate them. Imagine being able to do the following for any KnitML-based pattern:
- Render a pattern in either written directions or a chart, dependent on a preference setting
- Render a pattern in any language, using conventions familiar to that language and dialect
- Validate that a pattern is physically possible to knit (eliminating some types of errata)
- Automatically convert English measurements to and from metric measurements
- Size a pattern up or down to any size, not just the sizes that come with the pattern
- Recalculate a pattern for your gauge rather than the one that came with the pattern
- Explicitly write out mathematically complex directions (e.g., "increase 34 stitches evenly over 171 stiches")
- Alter the pattern using an easy-to-use graphical editor (or create new KnitML-based pattern from scratch)
- Preview the result of a pattern using graphics
- Integrate into your favorite knitting software (such as Sweater Wizard)
- Digitally sign the pattern to guarantee original authenticity<.li>
This would all be possible because KnitML would serve as a standard interchange format between various independently-developed software programs. Pattern designers could continue to make patterns in their current format and also provide a KnitML representation of the pattern.
KnitML was based on Laura Porter's vision to create a standard markup language for knitting patterns. She had noticed that patterns tended to be written using non-standard styles and abbreviations, so it was often difficult to convey meaning universally.
KnitML is not intended to promote the "right" way to render a knitting pattern. On the contrary, it is my hope to write and promote software which can be easily customized to a user's own rendering preferences. Rather, KnitML only hopes to standardize the underlying content model so that software everywhere can interpret and process knitting patterns.
Interesting and full of possibilities!
November 10, 2007
Knitting on Graham Norton
I like Graham Norton's BBC2 chatshow. If I am in, and it's on, I watch it.
The past two weeks he has featured knitting content. This week it was an intriguing German website, which caters to the more exotic end of handknitting, selling fetish wear, in yarns like mohair...... And according to this online newspaper, they are knitted by older ladies. Whatever fills your welly as my sister used to say. Anyway you should have a look. It's worth it, honest!
Wouldn't it be nice to think he might make this a regular feature?
November 5, 2007
Where were the woolly buns from?
Yesterday I posted a photo of a teaplate full of knitted cakes and biscuits. George, who sent me the picture, Skyped me today to tell me it came from a tea shop in Cramond, just outside of Edinburgh, where he had tea at the weekend. Cramond looks lovely! I may have to go up there and explore...
October 30, 2007
USPS Knitting stamps
Holiday Knits, four stamps featuring classic Christmas-time imagery designed and machine knitted by nationally known illustrator Nancy Stahl: Thereýs a dignified stag; a snow-dappled evergreen tree; a perky snowman sporting a top hat; and a whimsical teddy bear.
October 28, 2007
Knitter's line: Do not cross
Wendy over at Knit and Tonic has a great article this weekend with STOP PRESS! knitting stories from around the world. Nice things to read, but I like this picture best of all.
October 15, 2007
Blog Action Day: Knittivism
Thanks to whipup.net for mentioning glittyknittykitty in their post today on crafting for the environment.
Today is Blog Action Day, when the blogosphere attempts to make a difference by encouraging as many fellow bloggers to write about the environment as possible. It should. in theory, have quite an effect.
What does it mean to us here at glittyknittykitty?
Well, we did write the definition of knittivism up there in the top right corner, and we do see the act of knitting in itself as a political act. We do have dilemmas from time to time mind. It's not all plain sailing over here in gkkland.
If making gifts and knitting garments is really a snub to consumerism, then I do feel that we should be spinning and dying ourselves, with materials we find in the hedgerow, from fleeces we have reared ourselves, if we are really to be 100% true to the anti-comsumerist stance. When you live in a conurbation as I do, that really isn't possible.
However, we can all make a small difference. And that's where our take on knittivism comes in.
By making, giving and receiving hand made things, you can say No to mass production. You can embrace individualism, and you can create something imbued with love. By choosing materials sourced locally, as we both do in our food shopping (we both try to eat and cook seasonally), then you can say clearly that you are supporting local small producers rather than big impersonal conglomerates, out to fit us all into the same little tins.
By doing this you are advocating slow production, which has not travelled far to get to you. I honestly think this is a no brainer. Eating from the area you live in and trying to stay seasonal is better for you, better for the land, better for the animals and better for the environment.
As well as making stuff, cooking from scratch, and sourcing locally, I try to clean safely (white vinegar and baking soda are my best cleaning buddies) and have been trying to eliminate as many chemicals from my daily routine as I can. If we all did this, we could very quickly make producers take notice of what consumers want.
There was a fantastic programme on telly the other night, called How Toxic Are You? which pointed out in graphic detail how many chemicals the average Briton puts on their skin, in their mouth and in their homes every day. It was scary. I was feeling rather pleased with myself that I had started some of these challenges some time ago. However, Sarah Beeny pointed out just how much more I could be doing. Small things, one at a time mount up quicker than you think, and it is difficult to change everything at once.
Go and have a look at the How Toxic website and you may be surprised at how much you can do with very little effort to reduce your personal toxicity. If you do that you are by definition making a difference. So go on, make a difference, make a change today. You know you want to.
October 7, 2007
Sign up for eco activism on 15 October 2007
Blog Action Day is October 15 with a topic of ‘the environment’. The group is requesting that any willing bloggers sign up to show a united voice all discussing the same topic on the same day. With activism being one of Whip-Up’s regular topics, in terms of reusing media and recreating with it; finding inspiration for our art in our environments; handcrafters and artists creating to create local items, etc. I thought this would be an excellent concept to bring forward. Thank you for your lovely blog, a creative environment unto itself!Sign up and take part on 15 October.
September 12, 2007
A colleague at work sent me a couple of puns on song titles which might be in a chart for knitters:
Knits in White Satin
A Hard Day's Knit
I challenge you dear reader to come up with your own. Scummie and I will decide who has made us chortle most and award a 1st prize and a runner up prize.
Get your thinking cap on - music only please, no books, films or other artform. We will compile a Top Ten (if we get enough entries).
Off you go...... leave ideas here by commenting on this post. Entries on other fora will not be eligible unless they are here too.
Edited to add: Someone asked about prizes - well that depends on you and how inventive you are. A mere snort on our part may attract only a used gummi bear, whereas guffaws of earthshattering hilarity might ensure deliciousness beyond imagination.....
CLOSING DATE 21 September 2007, Midnight British Summer Time. See here for what that means if you are outside of the UK.
August 24, 2007
Mad tea cosies for St John's Ambulance
The St John's Ambulance invites you to knit a tea cosy (the madder the better) and have a tea party on November 30, 2008. They are hoping to sell tea cosies to raise funds. You can knit and donate a cosy, and there are patterns, advice and lots more information at www.sja.org.uk/bigteacosyhttp://www.sja.org.uk/bigteacosy.
August 20, 2007
Knit for health and well being
The repetitive actions needed for knitting and crochet can bring the mind and body to a state called a "relaxation response" that is quite similar to what people experience with techniques such as repetitive prayer, yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, and other relaxation disciplines. Research at the Harvard Medical School Mind/Body Institute has found that when an individual is knitting her heart rate can drop 11 beats a minute and her blood pressure drops as well. These results can have significant health benefits for people who knit and crochet.Manhattan, NY (OPENPRESS) August 18, 2007
July 25, 2007
Knitted terrier II
Knitted terrier kits (amongst others) from www.funtodo.co.uk
July 24, 2007
Maybe we need to get on the "Knitted Terrier" gravy train. Teeny tiny terrier hats, Glittr? Do you know anyone with a Yorkie?
June 22, 2007
Article on the resurgence of knitting
Over at whipup.net
Artists have taken up the call to knit as well. When knitting is used in a fine art setting it manages to make the ordinary look extraordinary. It speaks of gender politics and domestic processes, it pays homage to long traditions and is naturally imbued with history, survival, warmth and protection. It is an artists job to subvert, explore and extend the medium of their choice and the use of non-traditional materials helps to push boundaries. However it is the handmade quality of knitting that is valued in art, the process, transparent technique, the tactile qualities that are prized, and the simple craft of knitting allows freedom to explore ideas and experiment, to pursue the creative process.kath_red
June 11, 2007
Knittivism in Sweden and on tour
Like Knitta, Maskerade place knitted graffiti around their home town of Stockholm, and have also been adding knitted interventions on tour in Paris and beyond.... Go checkout their website for fun knittivisms which brighten up dull places.
June 9, 2007
WWKIPD at Newcastle's Green Festival
The weather at the beginning of the day did not hold out much promise, but we took our picnic blankets and our knitting, our patterns for teeny tiny hats to grace Innocent smoothies which Rowan kindly sent to us along with some vouchers.
The weather turned sunny, the atmosphere was lovely, and we knitted many fine little hats.
June 7, 2007
Shreddies - Knitting with nanas.....
A funny ad for Shreddies featuring knitting. You have to find the Knitting with Nanas video and make sure popups are enabled in your browser, then .... enjoy....
I am not sure I would want to eat something knitted..... but hey, it's a fun ad!
April 23, 2007
The BBC reported on a contestant in yesterday's London Marathon, which was attempting to break the world record for World's Longest Scarf Knitted During A Marathon...... Susie Hewer was raising money for the Alzheimer's Research Trust, and hoped her knitting stunt would draw attention to the cause.
370 metre scarf helps in dam protest
Read more about how women made a 370 metre long knitted scarf to protest about the construction of a dam in Australia.
March 15, 2007
Race for Life
Its that time of year again... ladies, young and old, some sprinting, some waddling, some crawling, around a 3 mile course to raise money for Cancer Research UK. I've been entered with a team (we're called the Plymgirls) and we're running in June, I think. So if you fancy sponsoring us (go on, you know you want to), then go to our sponsor page where you can do it all online.
I'll even do it in a tiara, if we make enough money.
February 8, 2007
An undercover agent pointed us to this interesting story over at the BBC about knitted boobies being used to help new mothers learn how to breast feed.
The woolly breasts are being used at Liverpool Women's Hospital to show new mothers how to breastfeed and how to express milk if necessary.... The breasts are produced in a variety of skin shades. They are used by community midwife teams to demonstrate how milk should be expressed, particularly for premature babies being kept in hospital.... sourced the breast pattern from the International Lactation Consultants' Association.... more knitters are needed.
I looked for the pattern on the ILCA website, but couldn't find it - so if you know where it is, let us know and we will add in a link. I would have suggested using the pattern at knitty.com but it doesn't seem as anatomically correct as the one illustrated on the BBC site.
January 31, 2007
The Planet - be a spiritual activist on 1 February 2007
We received this via email:
The Alliance pour la Planète (a grouping of environmental associations) appeals to all citizens to give the planet 5 minutes respite: everybody to extinguish all their lights and illuminations and turn off equipment on stand-by on the 1st February 2007 from 19h55 until 20h00 (CET). The purpose is not just to save electricity for 5 minutes that day, but to draw the attention of citizens, the media and the authorities to the waste of energy and the need to initiate action!
5 minutes respite for the planet: That's not long, it costs nothing and will show our politicians that climate change is something which should figure prominently in political debates.
Why the 1st February? Because that is the day on which the latest report of the United Nations Panel of Experts is to be released in Paris.
Although this event is scheduled to take place in France, we should not miss this opportunity of drawing attention to the global climatic situation.
If we all participate our actions will have great public and political resonance, at an important moment in our political life!
Please make this appeal as widely known as possible in your own circles and networks!
Please also publish it on your websites and in your newsletters.
So knitting by candlelight for 5 minutes shouldn't be too much of a hardship should it?
January 27, 2007
Cranes not war: knitnotwar 1,0o0, an art installation project of peace
I got this email from one of out Secret Agents, knitmonkey, and decided to showcase this great project to you, dear reader....
hope this finds you doing beautifully well.
i wanted to point you in the direction of an interesting project that is going on in Portland Oregon. The person is using knit & felted origami style cranes for a peace project.
I just read about it last night and have committed to donating 10 cranes. I've already knit & felted one and have knit another 2 this morning. It's like a dream project for the origami/knitting/peace geek that i am :) and uses up bits of leftover worsted in the process.
I wanted to post it on a public knitting bulletin board, but feared peace would equal politics...i'm really tired of being an american for peace means you don't care about the humans involved --and honestly i absolutely hate attempting to discuss politics in any manner so didn't want to start a snowball rolling.
best to you, knitmonkey
So why not knit and felt a few cranes yourself??
knitnotwar 1,0o0—a display of a thousand knitted cranes, involves a large number of artists, crafters, knitters and others in a large scale, community based, public art installation-- celebrating the quiet logic of peace. More than a hundred artists will knit one thousand origami style cranes, to be displayed late 2007 in Portland, Oregon.
The pattern is available to download as a PDF, and you have to commit to take part by 1 March. Actual deadline for submission of cranes is 1 May 2007. They need 1000.
Go on. Do it. Now.
December 16, 2006
Adults only knitting salon
Thanks to BoingBoing for highlighting this article written by Violet Blue, eloquently informing us of the latest craze to hit San Francisco. Saucy knitting salons. There is an interview with Nikol Lohr and Domiknitrix gets an honourable mention (we at glittyknittykitty have been fans of Domiknitrix for a while). Nikol's book is described thusly:
one peek under the covers shows that this book is one part knitting manual of style, and one part sex toy all by itself.
Head over and have a gander at the article.
What I want to know is, why was there no mention of the Sex and the Knitty issue of Knitty.com? This predates both Nikol and Domiknitrix's books..... it was published in Summer 2004.....
December 4, 2006
Street Art Workers: Knit for the revolution poster
Back in 2003 (before glittyknittykitty) Street Art Workers had a project entitled Utopia/Dystopia.
One of the posters in the series making up the project was a poster about knitting.... three (nearly four) years later the message is not lost. Not only in this poster, but in most of the series of 22 posters, most of which have a sustainability message.
Many folks excel at criticizing the existing order, but people seldom articulate what they want. As we struggle for a better world, we´re forced to define what that world might look like. Do you envision a society broken down under the weight of capitalism or do you hold out hope for the forces of liberty and equality? In 2003 we put these thoughts on the streets to inspire visions for the future.Street Art Workers, 2003.
December 1, 2006
Lisa Anne Auerbach
This is a call for a dynamic, new direction for knitting!
Lay down the eyeleash yarn and giant needles and pick up a project that's thoughtful, elegant and odd.
Reclaim knitting! it is a noble craft. It is NOT the new yoga. Repetitive and unthinking motions will kill the soul. Knitting is creating.
Down with simple and boring! Up with thoughtful and complex!
Shatter the present. Create the future. Stitch by stitch we can and will change the world. The revolution is at hand and knitting needles are the only weapons you'll need. Stop making scarves; start making trouble.
Consume less. Create more. Knitting is politcal. BEGIN IMMEDIATELY.
November 18, 2006
Essay: The Knitting Train by Bridget Cameron
knitting as a means of expression in fine art has become a global phenomenon, appearing in galleries all over the world. No longer is knitting pushed into the realm of being a suitable pastime for the aged and feeble-minded!
Brigette Cameron is a Melbourne based textile artist who has a keen interest in examining the delineation between knitted craft and art. She is fascinated with making the ordinary extraordinary by exploring process and context in her hand knitted work.
August 26, 2006
Knit a teeny tiny hat
Thanks to Brenda Dayne over at Cast On for pointing us to Innocent's newest hat campaign. There is a pattern, the money goes to 2 charities, and there is a Hat Of The Week showcase. Innocent's drinks are really nice, and they are a cool company. Despite the name of the project. Which I won't mention.
August 5, 2006
Crochet lace undies from Poland
Thanks to Brenda Dayne's podcast, Cast On, episode 32 we heard about some Polish elder entrepreneur crafters, who have shrugged off the traditional uses of koniakow lace to create gorgeous underwear, which they are selling over the internet, very successfully, despite the protests of more traditionalist colleagues. Lovely knickers, at good prices which I would consider buying. Nevertheless, I am disturbed by the complete lack of pubic hair on the models.
August 1, 2006
Spare a square
Knit 3 inch white squares for an art project.
See this blog entry.
Perhaps you might like a break betweeen making larger blue squares for the knitariver project.... what could be better than a smaller white square or two? Veritas would be very appreciative. Go on, you know you want to.
July 7, 2006
In memory of all those who have died due to terrorism,
either institutional or guerilla.
In memory of those who died in London on 7/7/05, or in Madrid, or New York.
In memory of those who have died and are still dying in Iraq, both soldiers and civilians.
In memory of anyone who has died for a cause that they themselves did not believe in.
A question to those who commit these acts.... why do you think you speak for the rest of humanity? What gives you the right to take the lives of other people in such a brutal, aggressive, testosterone-driven, misguided way?
So here we have a picture stolen from Wikipedia showing a tree planted in Tavistock Square (place of one of the London bombs, and the place that I know very well from working there regularly) in memory of the victims of Hiroshima.
I've been to Hiroshima. Everyone should go, if they have the chance.
And I'll leave you with this thought, something that has come up recently in The Knitted Terrorists dealings with others: there are many ways of fighting terror and bullying, both institutional and militant. Pretending it doesn't exist, meeting fight with might, bombing the shit out of civilians, selling re-building rights to a destroyed country to your friends, lying about military information, banning the use of misappropriated words.... none of these are moral, in my opinion. To beat a bully, you need to stand upright, name them for what they are, laugh in their face, smile gently at their discomfort. Laughter. Never underestimate its ability to destroy a bully....
Become a Knitted Terrorist and question everything around you, including your own self-belief and comfort in your western way of life....
They are not right and we are not right and everyone loses.
July 5, 2006
The Revolutionary Knitting Circle Proclamation of Constructive Revolution
The Revolutionary Knitting Circle's Knitting Manifesto has a lot to offer:
We hold that all communities should have the means necessary to meet every essential need of their own people.
To that end, the Revolutionary Knitting Circle calls upon people everywhere to take up the struggle through the tools of local production. We shall bring forth not only our voices raised for global justice, but we shall rise together, with the tools to liberate local communities from the shackles of global corporatism.
By sharing in the skills and resources of our communities, we shall become free to cast off dependencies on global trade for our subsistence. In so doing, we shall all be able to enter fairly into meaningful and equitable trade of not only goods, but also those cultural intangibles that are necessary if we are to bring about understanding, justice and peace to truly enrich our individual lives and our communities.
By returning production of the essentials of life to the community, we can eradicate the dependence imposed by the elites - giving communities the freedom to guide their own destinies.
We call upon all people who would see their communities freed from corporate slavery to come forth to share in action dedicated to removing the production of essential goods from the hands of multi-national corporations and returning that production to the people.
This is a daily struggle.
We shall put this struggle in the faces of the elites by engaging in knit-ins at their places of power throughout the world.
We shall conduct workshops and skill-sharing at their major meetings, on the steps of government edifices, and - perhaps most significantly - in the banks, malls and even those 'hallowed' office towers of the richest of the rich.
We will remind ourselves - and those who would have us believe there is no alternative to the corporate doctrine - that we can have the ability to produce what we need without the destructive hand of the investment banker and his ilk at our throats.
So whether you want to knit, quilt, grow food, build homes, teach, heal or any of the other skills that can provide for a community, we call on you to come forward in solidarity to create production and learning outside of the dominant 'corporate economics'.
We look on with delight in our hearts to this action that will shine as we produce so much for our communities while providing no offerings to the elite's loathsome 'bottom-line'.
Let us join together in action to create a globalization of justice so that freedom can be made to ring out for all people.
This is our constructive revolution.
June 24, 2006
With London Architecture week came to advent of the knittingsite.org A site to record the process of constructing a knitted house. Life sized. You can see the process from start to finish by looking at the two galleries of photographs on the knittingsite.org.
You can even download the pattern.
June 20, 2006
Quotes from Kiss Machine: the Revolutionary Issue
Thanks to my SP, we have our first quote from Kiss Machine: the Revolutionary Issue, a Toronto-based magazine of short stories, poetry, journalism and photography.
First Failed Proposal For a World That Won't Hurt
In this world,
It is widely known that
the holes in each person's
socks correspond to
weaknesses of character.
Upon meeting, people
take turns trying on one another's socks over
top of their own.
If the holes in two people's socks
cover for each other, they
instantly mate for life~
together making one whole sock,
Shannon Gerard, 2006, Kiss Machine #13
June 18, 2006
World Cup football pattern
Thanks to whipup.net for pointing us in the direction of the World Cup 2006 knitting pattern for a football courtesy of Needle Exchange. Available as a PDF to download too. You could even knit it whilst being part of Stop the world cup...... or whilst watching your favourite team play.
Vinda-loooooooFat Les, 1998.
Vindaloo, vindaloo, la laaaaaa........
An earworm from the football song with the best football song video. Ever. And it contains the lyrics,
Can I introduce you, please
To a lump of cheddar cheese
Knit one, purl one, drop one, curl one
Class. And for our non-UK reader, you get to hear how England gets an extra syllable in football chants, to become Engerland. Important stuff.
June 7, 2006
WWKIP Day - more details
There is a picknit happening for WWKIP Day on 10 June.
Time: 12noon onwards
Venue: Longsands, Tynemouth if it's fine (weather forecast good) for BYO food and drink (disposable BBQ anyone?), the Sea cafe on Longsands if it's not (cocoa and crumpets).
KAL: If you want to do some communal knitting, think about knitting a blue square.
Bring the family - they can play on the sand and get hypothermia in the North Sea, while you knit with us.
It'll be easy to spot people, they will have pointy sticks in their hands.......
There is parking nearby and public transport is good with buses dropping you right above the beach, and the Metro within very easy walking distance.
To find us, look for the Tynemouth Surf Company shop above the beach on Grand Parade - we'll be down below on the sand somewhere near there.
It's a nice walk along the beach, so if you can't see us (or me!) straight away, just walk up and down til you spot the needles glinting in the sunshine. If there is no sunshine head for the cafe on the beach itself - there is only one, and it's at the Grand Hotel end. See you Saturday!
June 3, 2006
Knit a river
Can you Knit a blue square? 15 cm by 15cm.
Knit A River and help WaterAid save even more lives.
Over 1.1 billion people do not have access to safe water.
Help save lives, help Knit A River
The deadline for sending squares isn't until Spring 2007, so you have plenty of time to knit blue squares!
The river will be walked through London to Downing Street as a campaign action to tell world leaders that we want them to take action - end global poverty - make water and toilets accessable to all.
June 2, 2006
To celebrate WorldWideKnitInPublic Day on 10 June, I and some other northern english knitters will be having a BYO picknit on the Longsands at Tynemouth. From noon, there will be knitting in the great outdoors. If the weather permits. If not, we will take up residence in the Sea Cafe on the beach there, for cocoa and crumpets.
May 30, 2006
Even The Guardian thinks it's OK.....
And part of that is because there is a journalistic perception that knittivism is a LONDON thing, and that we parochial wannabes are waaaaaaaay behind.
Eat my knittivist shorts, and do your 'research' better. I hope you London smug journo twits f*cking choke on them. We have 4, yes, 4 groups who meet in the North East. And we live in a small city. North/south divide (i.e. London vs the Rest Of The UK?) Bring it ON.
May 24, 2006
Knitting World Cup
Cast on : 9th June 2006 18:00 (Central European Time)
Finish by: final whistle 21:30 (CET) on 9th July 2006
May 3, 2006
Knittivism in biscuits
You can make your own out of any word or phrase you like.....
April 24, 2006
Knitta - more reports of knit tagging
We told you about two women who tag street objects with unsolicited knitted cozies a little while back. Boing boing has latched on to their work and there are more great photos..... I would love to see this idea spreading. I think I shall coin a new phrase for urban knitted interventions and knitting activism/terrorism - knittivism. I'm off to create a new section of the blog for it.
April 20, 2006
Policitized pink knit
Another Boing Boing knitting related item, this tank cozy was made for a peace protest in Copenhagen. Make sure you read the comments at Boing Boing. Do you know of an earlier pink tank protest? I am sure I remember the KLF doing something with a pink tank earlier than 1991..... or perhaps it's wishful thinking. You can see a bigger version over at flickr. We at glittyknittykitty appreciate knitting activism. If you see or take part in any let us know!
Edited to add the following extra information:
The cosy was the brainchild of Marianne Joergenson, and was a community affair, with invitations to knit a square having previously been adversised on, for example, Cast Off. It was part of a protest against Denmark´s (USA´s) involvement in Iraq, and involved a number of people sewing 15x15cm squares together in public around the tank. The whole process was documented with video, which was shown in a gallery nearby as part of the protest.
April 13, 2006
World Wide Knit In Public Day
The date for Worldwide Knit In Public Day has been announced! It's 10 June 2006 and there will be more information on a dedicated website. Last year I knitted in a pub in public. This year I think I will arrange something in the North East.... contact me by commenting on this post if you are interested in a Knit In Public Picnic on 10 June. Venue tbc.
April 10, 2006
April 5, 2006
How to be a knitted terrorist
Take knitting on a plane (dodgy here in the UK) and sing along to London's Calling by The Clash on your iPod. Simple. Bob's yer uncle, Fanny's yer aunt, there you go, you are (un)offocially a Knitted Terrorist.
January 6, 2006
More Anarchy: Stop Making Scarves, Start Making Trouble
Many beautiful, political sweaters shown on this site, Steal This Sweater designed and machine-made by Lisa Anne Auerbach. Buckets of pictures, which GKK attach a warning to: don't go here if you approve of Bush and his evil bushbunny cohorts. I like this woman. Even better (if possible) are the issues of Everyday Hiking, the newsletter of the IHC (Interlopers Hiking Club). Issue 3 details their adventures in London, including blisters on Hampstead Heath and drinking at the Sir Robert Peel. Worth reading, if it's cold outside, there's nothing on TV and your neighbour borrowed your copy of Anna Karenina. Actually, just worth reading.
December 23, 2005
Knitta is a small collective of anarchic knitters in Houston, USA, who bomb their neighbourhood with knitted graffiti.... There is an article explaining their work, together with interviews with the main protagonists, AKrylik and PolyCotN.
I love this idea - knitting things and placing them outside, circumventing traditional notions of what knitting is for and about, and reinventing street objects and our perceptions of them.
December 1, 2005
Jumpers for penguins
Yep. Jumpers. For penguins.
And no it's not a joke. It's very serious actually. Poor penguins who get caught in oils slicks, and get cleaned, lose their natural way to stay warm temporarily, and so jumpers can help! The idea is part of the Penguin Jumpers Project. Over 15,000 jumpers were collected, which will be stored in Oil Spill Response Kits around Tasmania. In the case of a major oil spill, these jumpers will be used to help rehabilitate Little penguins (Eudyptula minor) that have been oil affected. Oil clogs the feathers of these tiny seagoing birds, and reduces their insulating and waterproofing qualities. Even worse, the penguins attempt to clean themselves by preening, and rapidly become poisoned.
Well done! Shame they don't need any more - seems to me this would have been a great way to use up all those annoying little scraps in my stash basket.....
October 17, 2005
Post felting anarchy
It felted well - here it is drying (it actually has a load of books on top to flatten it right now) after loads of pulling into shape. I didn't go too far with the stretching and blocking, since I am going to cut it into a better shape, and add some embellishments. Post felting measurements: 18 inches by 12 inches.
September 11, 2005
Black moss stitch beret
I knitted a moss stitch beret in one skein of black Classic Elite Inspirations that Megera sent me back in SPtutu. Just the thing for a knitted terrorist heh heh....
The pattern is a Debbie Bliss one - free when I joined The Club, and intended for knitting in Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk....
June 13, 2005
International Knit In Public Day - 11 June 2005
Well I did my bit - and knitted in a public house at lunchtime with my sister and her hubby in attendance..... The pub: The Shepherd and Shepherdess at Beamish, County Durham, UK; the beer: a pint of Black Sheep....
Here she is pre-felting - I need more fairisle practice to get the tension right, but as this was (a) my first attempt and (b) being felted I thought (in the immortal words of Granny Weatherwax) Buggrit!
It's drying now after it felted a bit too well.... and only after one wash, and not on the hottest cycle. Either my new washer is more efficient or this yarn felts really well. Actually the Kureyon felted magnificently too, and that used to take 3-4 washes in my old machine.... Note to self, when felting in future choose a cooler and less vigorous wash cycle than 60C.....